Tag Archives: Indiana

How to Make a Market Bag…Plain or Fancy

…Or a road-trip bag, knitting/crochet bag, or gift bag.  Only basic sewing skills are needed.  Really.

Here’s the simple design, using folded paper.  You can make any size of bag by making sure that the length of each “B” =  half the length of “A” plus a half-inch.

And here is my overused homemade pattern, below, with a second photo showing what the folded fabric you’ll cut looks like when opened.  The bottom edge is placed on the fold of the fabric, as you’ll see next….

 

I’ve cut the inner and outer shells first, then cut quilted cotton to use as an interfacing.  Above the cut-out rectangles, notice that each side flap is about a half-inch wider than half of what will become the bottom of the bag–which allows for the side seams.  (The length of each “B” =  half the length of “A” plus a half-inch, as in the paper bag example.)

Use your pattern again to cut out the interior pocket lengths–quilted fabric can be added as interfacing, as in the following photo, but you could just double a sturdy fabric–such as canvas or duck, for use as interior pockets.

  Next, I pin the pockets where I want to sew them, leaving an inch and a half below each pocket strip, so the pockets are near the bottom of the bag.  Then I spaced and pinned the pockets on both sides about equally–with four pockets per side.

Sew around the entire pocket strip, turning the fabric and sewing up–and then back down–each of the individual pocket seams (I pause and add some extra stitching at the top, where the opening of the pocket might get heavier use), and then continue  along the bottom until I get to the next pocket seam.

After the pockets are sewn on, place the (backside) edges of one side of the bag together, pin, and sew.  Next, open the seams and tack down those seam edges.

Do the same to the other side, then flatten the bottom edges and sew those closed.

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Using the remaining fabric, decide on the length of fabric straps.  If you’re short on fabric, use the rectangular scrap fabric to make fabric tabs for four “d” rings, and buy handles at a craft shop.  (I used scraps, and made a fabric tab to hold a brass ring in the finished bag photo.)

By the way, I cut the quilted interfacing for the handle straps short on both ends–it makes it easier to sew the finished straps into three layers of fabric–plus trim!

Next, sew the interfacing all around the outer shell (this step can be done to either the inner or outer shell), and then pin and sew sides as before, with seams facing inside and tacked down.  Sew the bottom edges together next.  At this point, I turned over and tacked down the top edges, pinned piping trim and handles on (centered, about six inches strap-to-strap on either side).

Sew it all down–it’ll make it easier to handle once you join the inner and outer shells.

Insert the inner shell into the outer, and find the bottom corners, fitting tightly together and pinning, then sew them down before moving on, to fit and pin the top of the bag.  Before sewing the tops together, add any extras–like a key tag.  Then sew around the top several times.  Use a pattern or simply follow previous seams, but do get right to the top under the trim at least once, so the inner and outer bag edges meet well.

  Last, a stabilizing bottom pad can really help.  For this bag, I’ve cut out the same interior fabric, folded it to the size of the interior of the bottom, sewn it–leaving an opening–and inserted a cut-to-size piece of styrofoam.  (I got the end of a roll from a pool supply company for this purpose, but you can use any stiff, recycled material that will hold its shape and stand up to hand washing.  I’ve used cut, stained, and varnished veneer hardwood in the past, and skipped the fabric cover.)  In this case, I slipped the styrofoam in its pouch, sewed down the edges all around, and then sewed a tacking cross in the center of the finished support.

Total time:  about six to eight hours.

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Seafoam Medium Market Bag
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My blog has been used most often to celebrate the art of dozens of people since I started writing it, or to offer free plans for art supplies.  This time I’m showing my own recent work.  Please feel free to comment!

Oil paintings (and a silk scarf) completed by end of summer, 2016

scarf

Silk seascape scarf printed from image of “Northwest Front,” $40 including tax.

Paintings are not shown actual size;  please note a title and find its sizing, location, and price (with or without its frame) in the list below.

bouquet-of-locusts

Bouquet of Locusts

running-down-to-the-river

Running down to the River

lake-papakeechie-from-the-cloud

Lake Papakeechie from the Cloud

flood-tide-port-aransas-tx

Flood Tide

 

blue-squall-cb

Blue Squall

spring-cleaning-hill-house

Spring Cleaning @ Hill House

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Above the Frog Pond @ TC Steele

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Wild Weather

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Fish House, Point House Trail

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Neap Tide one of two studies

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Neap Tide one of two studies

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View of Useppa

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Cold Spell, Fog off Captiva

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Ebb Tide

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Dry Wash Stream

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Cold Front

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Autumn Winery

All paintings were started en plein air, and finished in studio.  Pricing is pre-professional, ranging from seventy-five cents per square inch for small paintings to 50 cents per sq. in. for ex-large.

All frames are at my cost (using discounts);  please feel free to decline the frame, and to find one that suits you and your home better!

Land and Seascapes
Above the Frog Pond, TC Steele, Brown County, IN, oil on canvas, 12″ x 12,” framed:  $199.41;  unframed:  $115.56.  Tax included.

Blue Squall, Crystal Beach, TX, oil on canvas, 11″ x 14,” framed:  $211.22;  unframed, $123.59.  Tax included.

Bouquet of Locusts, oil on canvas, Owen County, IN, 28.5″ x 26.5,” framed:  $990.58;  unframed, $762.70.  Tax included.

Fish House, Point House Tr., Upper Captiva, FL, oil on canvas, 20″ x 24,” framed:  $552.12;  unframed, $308.16.  Tax included.

Flood Tide, Port Aransas, TX (Mustang Island), oil on canvas, 11″ x 14,” framed:  $205.11;  unframed, $123.59.  Tax included.

Spring Cleaning @ the Hill House, Owen County, IN, oil on canvas, 24″ x 24,” framed:  $477.11;  unframed, $369.79.  Tax included.

Running down to the River Bottom, oil on canvas, Owen County, IN, 36″ x 44,” framed:  $990.58;  unframed, $762.70.  Tax included.

Lake Papakeechie from the Cloud, Kosciusko County, IN, oil on canvas, 20″ x 20,” framed: $427.71;  unframed:  286.76.  Tax included.

Mustang Island Cold Front, Port Aransas, TX, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20,” framed:  $264.41;  unframed:  $229.41.  Tax included.

Ebb Tide, Port Aransas, TX, oil on canvas, 11″ x 14,” framed:  $205.11;  unframed:  $123.59.  Tax included.

Autumn Winery, Owen County, IN, oil on canvas, 24″ x 24,” framed:  $477.11;  unframed:  $369.79.  Tax included.

Dry Wash Stream, Owen County, IN, oil on canvas, 10″ x 12,” framed:  $162.12;  unframed:  $96.30.  Tax included.

Wild Weather, Escondido Lane, Upper Captiva, FL, oil on canvas, 20″ x 24,” framed:  $544.07;  unframed:  $308.16.  Tax included.

Cold Spell, Fog off Captiva, Upper Captiva, FL, oil on canvas, 15″ x 30,” framed/unframed:  $322.61.  Tax included.

View of Useppa, End of Sol Vista Lane, Upper Captiva, FL, oil on canvas, 20″ x 16,” framed/unframed:  $229.41.  Tax included.

Neap Tide 1 & Neap Tide 2, Port Aransas, TX, oil on panel, 8″ x 10,” framed:  $82.20;  unframed:  $64.20.  Tax included.

All paintings will be given a week’s trial in your home.  No reproductions, please;  I retain my “reproductive rights.”  🙂  

Each oil painting is original work by Laura Lynn leffers.

Email Lauralynnleffers@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IPAPA and the Wawasee Paint-Out

Art En Plein Air


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Donna Shortt took this photo of the breaking day on July 13th, at Lake Papakeechie, from an upstairs bedroom at my family’s cottage.  Yep, up at dawn.  These IPAPA painters barely pause for breakfast.

She, Pam Newell, Dave Voelpel, Leanna Arnold, and I were there for the annual Indiana Plein Air Painters Association paint-out at Lake Wawasee, in northern Indiana.  IPAPA people dotted the area lakes’ landscapes for the event, thick as the threatening clouds.  They hunkered under sun hats, umbrellas, and shelters, undaunted.  When they couldn’t find an open (or free) lake view to paint they found flower gardens, street-view scenes of cottages, and crowded shoreside views peopled with the backsides of sailing students.

Try to say that a few times, and you’ll understand their frustration.

Pam Newell, "The Red Cottage," oil on panel

Pam Newell, http://www.pnewellart.com, “The Red Cottage,” oil on panel

The site’s the thing–en plain air painters (think:  in plain air) need a place to stand for a couple of hours. That’s about all they need, they bring everything else with them.

Here’s hoping more Lake Wawasee residents open up their shoreside lawns, their unparalleled views, their access gates for these professional artists, next year.  Lake Wawasee can be a wild and wonderful model on a stormy day, and the weekend of July 12th was brilliant with weather.

Donna Shortt, "The Red Cottage," oil on panel

Donna Shortt, http://www.dshortt.com, “The Red Cottage,” oil on panel

The IPAPAs shown here were working  Lake Papakeechie (off the tail end of Wawasee), with its more intimate water views.  And at least some of the other IPAPAs found painting space near water–Saturday night’s pizza party, at the Wawasee Yacht Club, sported a few lake-themed paintings.  Despite the paucity of water scenes, easels wound around the yacht club yard, blooming with high quality impressions of flowers, boats, and grand old homes.  IPAPA member Dave Voelpel, in a reverent tone, called it “Museum quality work.”

Dave Voelpel at work on a watercolor

Dave Voelpel at work on a watercolor

Leanna Arnold, oil on canvas

Leanna Arnold, oil on canvas

The weekend event ended with a show at Lake Wawasee’s South Shore Golf Club on Sunday, July 13th.  Check IPAPA’s Facebook page for the next group paint-out, or go to the website at http://www.inpainters.org.

Leanna Arnold and I are both new IPAPA members.  She took two of her fresh paintings for the pizza party’s  group display, while I left my one unfinished start at the cottage.  Her abstracted rendition of Lake Papakeechie, shown here, was received with interest.

Leanna painted a total of three canvasses on Saturday and Sunday.  Look closely at the photo of Dave and his watercolor, and you’ll see her painting on the dock, down by the lake.  Examples of her earlier work can be seen on this blog;  go to the January, 2013 archives.

Plein air painters somehow manage to get paintings finished and ready to sell inside a matter of hours.  From what I’ve seen in the few months I’ve been paying attention to these intrepid, on-site, outdoor artists, they carry frames with them and come prepared to deal with anything nature throws at them–including the art loving, art buying public.

Laura's hour-and-a-half start

Laura’s hour-and-a-half start

Here’s mine–an hour or so’s start.

Ah, but I was hosting.  Yes, that’s it.  I was a student last weekend, learning from these masters but not at all in their class.

One thing I’ve learned about painting in the open air is that I work faster, more intuitively.  There’s no time to wallow in angst.

But I need more time.  I’ll have to go back next year, and finish this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Voelpel at work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gladiola Bob and the Bloomingfoods Farmers’ Market

Gladiola Bob & Bloomingfoods Farmers' Market

Gladiola Bob and the Bloomingfoods Farmers’ Market

Last week, Bloomingfoods East, in Bloomington, Indiana, accepted—and hung—this painting.  I’d struggled to “get it right” for many years, and I was thrilled that the manager, Tom Zeta, and several employees received it with a gracious delight.

Why it all happened is a story that takes a bit more telling, but it started with the realization that a grocery store—which is what Bloomingfoods is, after all—is generous to its competition, allowing a farmers’ market to set up out front in its parking lot every single Wednesday of the long market season—for 34 years.

The painting features sketches of some of the farmers who offer their home-grown and/or homemade wares to the public at the Wednesday Market:  Left to right, Bob Wise (Wise Acres);  Jeff Padgett (Padgett Farm);  Chester Lehman (Olde Lane Apple Orchard);  and Marcia Veldman (Meadowlark Farm).

Six years and change have passed since I started this oil painting;  finding time to work on it and trying to capture its early morning spirit (and its tiny, dime-sized faces) proved daunting.  I worked from photos I took a year before Bob Wise—known as “Gladiola Bob”—died, and remembered his kind spirit each time I worked on it.

Now in its 34th year, according to Market Master Don Dunkerley and his partner, Jean Ellis, of Mountain Greenhouse in Bloomfield, Indiana, the Wednesday Market remains independent.  It’s a non-profit, co-operative venture, unconnected to the city’s Parks & Rec farmers’ markets. Dunkerley has been bringing his fresh produce and plants to this market since it began, and is grateful to Bloomingfoods for their support of local farmers.  “They’re so co-operative,” he said, “they help to keep a space open for us.”

Red.Indian

large market bag

I was once a vendor at this market.  I’m a writer, with a few novels out under my pen name, Laura Lynn Leffers (.com), but I’d had a bit of trouble with my eyes, and started sewing market bags—focusing on a seam—until I had too many bags to foist on friends and family.  While I awaited a diagnosis (it turned out to be  blepharitis, a simple tear duct problem), this is the market that took me in, allowed me space, and gave me a positive outlet.

small market bag

small market bag

Eventually, Marcia Veldman, who sells produce and flowers at the Wednesday Market but is also the Bloomington Parks and Recreation co-ordinator for the big Saturday Market at City Hall, suggested that I apply to the Saturday Market’s monthly “A Fair of the Arts.”  I did, and enjoyed being an officially “artsy” market bag vendor for a time, while I worked through my vision problem.

It didn’t keep me away from the Bloomingfoods East Wednesday Market, though.  It’s accessible.  No queuing up, and waiting for the McCormick’s corn.  Jeff remembers the names of every single person he’s ever met (I’m sure of it).  There’s a cheerful, low-key, hard working midwest air about it.  Plus, you can finish your grocery shopping at Bloomingfoods.

Chester Lehman defines the 34-year collaboration between the health food store and the farm stands as “Mutually beneficial.”  Marcia Veldman explains it by saying, “Part of their mission is to support local farmers.”

Comanche brief bag

Comanche brief bag

I was grateful to be a vendor at the Wednesday Market.  And that explains the painting.